Of course, you might recognize that I tend to feature more men than women in my blog series thus far. Yet, this should come as no surprise since most of the American film industry is dominated by middle aged or older white men, especially at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences which has a 77% count. Not to mention, a lot of the actresses you see in movies don’t really last as long since Hollywood tends to hire them for their looks, which may fade away once they reach a certain age. Some may take fewer roles or just stop acting altogether. Yet, as you see here, there are quite a number of actresses who do make it despite their looks or their age. Now this selection, features an all male lineup mostly because I listed them this way. First, you have Raymond Massey a Canadian actor who played men like Abraham Lincoln, a serial-killer who looks like Boris Karloff, and James Dean’s emotionally abusive dad followed by another Canadian actor by the name of Glenn Ford (I’m surprised by how many actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age are actually from Canada). Second, you have Adolphe Menjou renowned for his fantastic mustache and sharing a name with a particular German dictator. Third, there’s Alan Ladd notable for playing Shane as well as starring with Veronica Lake because they were both short blondes. After that, comes Rex Ingram who was one of the pioneering prolific African American actors due to his strong presence and powerful voice. Then there’s Leslie Howard notable for playing the Gone With the Wind character nobody likes as well as dying during WWII followed by British supporting player Trevor Howard. Next are both actors Roddy McDowall and Mickey Rooney who began their careers as child stars as well as had very successful adult careers. Yet, as Rooney is known for his many trips to the altar, McDowall made none. And last, we have Hollywood leading man Robert Taylor known for his popularity as a leading man as well as his marriage to Barbara Stanwyck. So for your pleasure, here are 10 more actors who’ve never won an Oscar in this classic installment.
91. Raymond Massey
Personal Life: (1896-1983) Born in Toronto, Ontario in Canada. Mother was American born. Father owned the Massey-Harris Tractor Company. Attended the University of Toronto and eventually graduated from Oxford. Served in the Canadian Army during WWI suffering shellshock and served as an army instructor at Yale. Made his first stage appearance to entertain American troops in Siberia. Yet, was sent home for after being severely wounded in France. After the war he’d join the family business selling farm implements. First appeared on the London stage in 1922. Made his first movie in 1927. Rejoined the Canadian Army in WWII though he was eventually released from service. Became an American citizen after the war. Married 3 times and had 3 children, a son with first wife Margery Fremantle and 2 with second wife Adrienne Allen. Married to third wife Dorothy Whitney for 44 years (who was his divorce lawyer). Retired from acting in 1973. Died of pneumonia at 86.
Famous for: Canadian American actor whose career spanned over 50 years. Notable roles are Citizen Chauvelin from The Scarlet Pimpernel, Philip II of Spain from Fire Over England, Abraham Lincoln from Abe Lincoln of Illinois, John Brown from Santa Fe Trail, Jonathan Brewster from Arsenic and Old Lace, King Cutler from Reap the Wild Wind, Dean Graham from Possessed, Adam Brock from 49th Parallel, Brig. Gen. Ezra Mannon from Mourning Becomes Electra, Gail Wynand from The Fountainhead, Nathan from David and Bathsheba, Sheik Yousseff from The Desert Song, Maj. Gen. Snipes from Battle Cry, Abraham Farlan from A Matter of Life and Death, Gen. Cummings from The Naked and the Dead, Adam Trask from East of Eden, Abbott Donner from The Great Imposter, and the Preacher from Mackenna’s Gold.
Nominated for: Massey was nominated for Best Actor in 1940 for Abe Lincoln of Illinois.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1955 for East of Eden. I mean Adam Trask was a bastard.
Reasons: Acting Oscar races in the 1950s were very brutal competition. Also, his second divorce was the inspiration for Adam’s Rib (which is the best Hollywood divorce story ever).
Trivia: His high profile second divorce was the inspiration for Adam’s Rib in which he and his ex-wife both later married the attorneys who represented them. And did I tell you that the attorneys were married to each other and later got divorced after the Masseys’ trial was over? Brother was the first Canadian born Governor General of Canada. Died the same day as his A Matter of Life and Death co-star David Niven.
92. Adolphe Menjou
Personal Life: (1890-1963) Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to a French father and Irish mother. Graduated from Cornell University with a degree in engineering. Made his movie debut in 1916. Served in WWI as a captain in the US Army ambulance service. Married 3 times and had an adopted son with third wife Verree Teasdale to whom he was married for 29 years. Died of hepatitis at 73.
Famous for: American actor whose career spanned silent films and talkies. Famous for his trademark mustache and natty onscreen fashion sense. Notable roles are Dr. Raoul de St. Hubert from The Sheik, Pierre Revel from A Woman of Paris, Walter Burns from The Front Page, Maj. Rinaldi from A Farewell to Arms, Louis Easton from Morning Glory, Sorrowful Jones from Little Miss Marker, Oliver Niles from A Star Is Born, Anthony Powell from Stage Door, Tom Moody from Golden Boy, Billy Flynn from Roxie Hart, Eduardo Acuña from You Were Never Lovelier, Mr. Kimberly from The Hucksters, Jim Conover from State of the Union, Gen. George Broulard from Paths of Glory, and Mr. Pendergast from Pollyanna.
Nominated for: Menjou was nominated for Best Actor in 1931 for The Front Page.
Most Crushing Loss: Not receiving an honorary Oscar for his 50+ year career and being in Hollywood before than most of the people on this list.
Reasons: Well, it could be some things. For one, it’s understandable for Hollywood not wanting to award a prestigious film prize to a guy named Adolphe after 1933. Not to mention, Menjou was a staunch Republican who equated the Democratic Party with Communism, opposed the New Deal, and cooperated with the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Was also a staunch John Bircher. So I could understand why the Academy didn’t give him an honorary life achievement Oscar.
Trivia: The “Menjou” mustache was named after him. Said his wardrobe contained 2,000 articles, 100 suits, and 15 overcoats alone. Possessed enviable art and coin collections.
93. Alan Ladd
Personal Life: (1913-1964) Born in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Mother was English. Father was an accountant who died when he was 4. Family moved to Oklahoma City soon after where his mother married a house painter. At 5, he was said to set his family apartment on fire while playing with matches. Went to high school in North Hollywood, California. After graduating, he opened his own hamburger and malt shop and worked as a carpenter. Attended the Universal Studios acting school but was dropped for being too blond and too short. So he acted in small theaters and radio. Made his first film in 1932. Married twice and had 3 children (a son to first wife Marjorie Jane Harrold and 2 with second wife Sue Carol). Married to second wife Sue Carol for 22 years. In 1962, he was found unconscious in a pool of blood with a bullet near his heart but survived. Died from a cerebral edema caused by accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol at 44.
Famous for: American actor as well as film and television producer. Successful in noirs and westerns as well as often paired with Veronica Lake (mostly because she was one of the few lead actresses shorter than him). Notable roles are Colin Farrell from Rulers of the Sea, Backwoodsman from The Howards of Virginia, “Baby” from Joan of Paris, Philip Raven from This Gun for Hire, Ed Beaumont from The Glass Key, Johnny Morrison, Lt.Cmdr., ret. From The Blue Dahlia, Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby, Al Goddard from Appointment with Danger, Shane, Capt. Joseph C. “Mac” McConnell, Jr. from The McConnell Story, Dr. James Calder from Boy on Dolphin, and Nevada Smith from The Carpetbaggers.
Nominated for: Ladd was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actor in 1955 for Shane since it was nominated for 5 other Oscars including Best Picture.
Reasons: Despite being a very popular star, he wasn’t a favorite with the critics. Also, he wasn’t conventional leading man material since he was at least between 5’5″ and 5’9.” Too bad he didn’t live in the age with Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Wahlberg, Dustin Hoffman, Sylvester Stallone, Daniel Radcliffe, and Johnny Depp. Yeah, short guys have come a long way in Hollywood.
Trivia: Second wife Sue Carol was his agent.
94. Rex Ingram
Personal Life: (1895-1969) Born in Cairo, Illinois. Father was a steamer fireman on the riverboat Robert E. Lee. In 1919, he graduated from Northwestern University medical school and was the first African American man to receive the Phi Beta Kappa key from that school. Went to Hollywood as a young man and made his first film in 1918. Appeared on Broadway in 1929. Married twice. Died of a heart attack at 73.
Famous for: American actor and first African American player to appear in a soap opera as well as had a career spanning 50 years. Easily transitioned to sound because of his strong presence and powerful voice. Notable roles are Adam/De Lawd/Hezdrel from The Green Pastures, Jim from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Djinn from The Thief of Baghdad, Sgt. Major Tambul from Sahara, Tilney from The Talk of the Town, Uncle Felix from God’s Little Acre, and the Black Preacher from Elmer Gantry.
Nominated for: Ingram was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not receiving an honorary Oscar for helping pave ways for African American actors, especially when it came to not playing stereotypical roles in some of his films.
Reasons: Well other than being black, Ingram pled guilty in 1949 for transporting a teenage girl in New York for immoral purposes for which he was sentenced to jail for 18 months. Only served 10 but it had a serious impact on his career for the next 6 years.
Trivia: Was a qualified medical doctor. Invested in a Los Angeles night club which he reopened as a jazz club.
95. Leslie Howard
Personal Life: (1893-1943) Born Leslie Howard Steiner in London to a British mother and a Hungarian Jewish father from East Prussia. Family would change their name to Stainer right before WWI. Worked as a bank clerk before enlisting as a subaltern but suffered from shell shock which led to him relinquishing his commission in 1916. Began acting in 1917 on the stage. Married to Ruth Evelyn Martin for 27 years and had 2 children. Yet, he had a reputation as a ladies’ man and was linked to various female stars (but he did have a mistress). Would eventually return to England in order to support his home country during WWII. Died at sea after his plane was shot down by German aircraft at 50.
Famous for: British actor, director, and producer. Normally played British stiff upper lip gentlemen. Best known for playing Ashley Wilkes in Gone With the Wind. Notable roles are Tom Prior from Outward Bound, Tom Collier from The Animal Kingdom, Sir Percy Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel, Philip Carey from Of Human Bondage, Alan Squier from The Petrified Forest, Peter Standish from Berkeley Square, Romeo from Romeo and Juliet, Professor Henry Higgins from Pygmalion, Holger Brandt from Intermezzo, Ashley Wilkes from Gone With the Wind, and Philip Armstrong Scott from 49th Parallel.
Nominated for: Howard was nominated twice for Best Actor in 1933 for Berkeley Square on and in 1938 for Pygmalion.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1939 for Gone With the Wind. Seriously, Howard really didn’t want to take this part in which he said, “I hate the damn part. I’m not nearly beautiful or young enough for Ashley, and it makes me sick being fixed up to look attractive.” Maybe it would’ve been a nice way to vindicate him.
Reasons: Well, I think the Academy probably figured that Howard was to have a long career ahead of him since he was still relatively in his prime when WWII started. Unfortunately, Howard wouldn’t survive.
Trivia: Was friends with Humphrey Bogart who named a daughter after him since he credited him with helping him land his first big acting roles. Founded a short lived film company in London during the 1920s. Left his Beverly Hills home to his mistress. During WWII, he was active in anti-German propaganda and said to be involved with British Allied Intelligence which might’ve lead to his death.
96. Trevor Howard
Personal Life: (1913-1988) Born in Cliftonville, Kent in England. Father worked for Lloyd’s of London in Ceylon during part of his childhood. Mother was a nurse. Studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and was on stage for several years until WWII. His wartime service in the Royal Corps of Signals earned him a lot of respect yet was discharged in 1943 for mental instability and “psychopathic personality” (though this is disputed). Made his first film in 1944. Married to Helen Cherry for 44 years. Died of bronchitis, influenza and jaundice at 74.
Famous for: British actor famous for his roles in Brief Encounter and The Third Man but would later play in smaller character roles. Notable roles are Dr. Alec Harvey from Brief Encounter, Lt. David Baynes from I See a Dark Stranger, Maj. Calloway from The Third Man, Captain Thompson from The Cockleshell Heroes, Capt. Chris Ford from The Key, Walter Morel from Sons and Lovers, John Bullit from The Lion, Houghton from Father Goose, Major Eric Fincham from Von Ryan’s Express, Robert Hook from A Matter of Innocence, Lord Cardigan from The Charge of the Light Brigade, Air Vice Marshal Keith Park from Battle of Britain, Father Collins from Ryan’s Daughter, Lord Advocate from Kidnapped, Sir Hector from The Last Remake of Beau Geste, Judge Broomfield from Gandhi, and Captain William Bligh from Mutiny on the Bounty.
Nominated for: Howard was nominated for Best Actor in 1960 for Sons and Lovers.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1949 for The Third Man.
Reasons: Howard was more of a British actor who primarily appeared in British films. Also turned down a knighthood.
Trivia: Was arrested by the Soviets for wearing a British Major’s uniform on the set of The Third Man but was released after it was revealed who he was. Insisted all his contracts include a clause excluding him from work whenever a test match was played.
97. Roddy McDowall
Personal Life: (1928-1998) Born in London, England. Father was a Royal merchant marine and mother was an Irish-born aspiring actress. First appeared as a baby model. Appeared in a lot of films as a boy starting at 9. Achieved a lot of success as a child actor and go on to adult roles. Family moved to the US in 1940 to escape WWII and became a US citizen in 1949. Never married and some suspected him as gay, though there’s nothing to prove that. Died of lung cancer at 70.
Famous for: British American actor, director, photographer, and voice artist. Began his long career acting as a child in England and most frequently appeared as a character actor while an adult. Notable roles are Huw from How Green Was My Valley, Ken McLaughlin from My Friend Flicka, Joe Carraclough from Lassie Come Home, Malcolm from Macbeth, Malcolm Stanley from Midnight Lace, Octavian from Cleopatra, Walter Bains from Inside Daisy Clover, Alan ‘Mollymauk’ Musgrave from Lord Love a Duck, Arthur Pimm from It!, Cornelius from Planet of the Apes, Wister from Midas Run, Mr. Jelk from Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Acres from The Poseidon Adventure, and Mr. Soil from A Bug’s Life.
Nominated for: McDowall was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1963 for Cleopatra mainly because a clerical error at 20th Century Fox which led his name being submitted for Best Actor instead. And this was probably the closest time he had to an Oscar nomination. Should’ve also received an honorary Oscar for his efforts in movie preservation as well.
Reasons: Well, it might have to do that he was subject to a 1974 raid on his home by the FBI for copyright infringement and piracy. It was a collection that consisted of 160 16mm prints and 1,600 cassettes before the era of commercial video tapes. Of course, he did purchase Errol Flynn’s home movie films and his directorial debut of Tam-Lin which he used video tapes for longer lasting archival footage. No charges were filed. Yet, the Academy has its archive named after him. As for earlier, well, he started out as child actor appearing in Lassie films.
Trivia: Was friends with Elizabeth Taylor. Was on the Board of Governors for Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the Selection Committee for the Kennedy Center Honors. Released 5 books on photograph and took pictures for various magazines.
98. Robert Taylor
Personal Life: (1911-1969) Born Spangler Arlington Brugh in Filley, Nebraska. Father was a farmer turned doctor. Grew up in Beatrice where his family moved when he was 8. Enrolled in Donne College but transferred to Pomona in Los Angeles when he heard his cello teacher was moving there. Spotted by an MGM talent scout and made his first film in 1934. During WWII, he served as a flight instructor for the US Navy Air Corps. Married twice with his first wife being Barbara Stanwyck and had 2 children to second wife Ursula Thiess. Smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day since he was a boy. Died of lung cancer at 57.
Famous for: American actor who was one of the most popular men of his time. Notable roles are Armand Duval from Camille, Lee Sheridan from A Yank at Oxford, William “Bill” Carey from Lady of the Tropics, Roy Cronin from Waterloo Bridge, Billy the Kid, Terry Trindale from Her Cardboard Lover, Sergeant Bill Dane from Bataan, Dr. Robert Merrick from Magnificent Obsession, Johnny Eager, Alan Garroway from Undercurrent, Major Michael Curragh from Conspirator, Marcus Vinicius from Quo Vadis, Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe from Ivanhoe, Lancelot from Knights of the Round Table, and Barry Morland from The Night Walker.
Nominated for: Taylor was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1940 for Waterloo Bridge in which he plays a loveable but totally clueless romantic lead.Then again, he played this role a lot but it really stands out for me in Waterloo Bridge.
Reasons: Well, Taylor was more or less considered a pretty boy or matinee idol type guy who was taken as serious credo by critics and prestigious awards organizations. In fact, he was more or less valued by his looks and professionalism than talent. However, this isn’t helped at all by the fact he “outed” actors Howard DaSilva and Karen Morley as well as screenwriter Lester Cole as Communists during his testimony to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Though DaSilva would eventually work again on stage, Morley and Cole’s careers were basically ruined.
Trivia: Hobbies included flying on his twin breach “Missy” on hunting and fishing trips and skeet. Had a 34 room home at Mandeville Canyon on 112 acres now called The Robert Taylor Ranch. Ronald Reagan delivered the eulogy at his funeral. Made 17 US Navy training films during WWII.
99. Mickey Rooney
Personal Life: (1920-2014) Born Joseph Yule Jr. in Brooklyn, New York City. Parents were vaudevillians. May have made his stage debut during infancy. Parents split at 4. Started appearing in movies at 6. Was drafted into the US Army in 1944 and spent 21 months until after WWII. Famous for being married 8 times with Ava Gardner as his first wife (though he was only divorced 6 since his fifth wife Barbara Ann Thomason was murdered and he was still technically married to his eighth wife when he died). Had 9 children and was married to eighth wife Jan Chamberlain for 37 years (though they separated in 2012 and were estranged in 2009). Was addicted to sleeping pills and gambling which he only overcame in the 2000s as well as struggled with alcoholism. Filed for bankruptcy in 1962 due to financial mismanagement. Last years were filled with alleging family members of elder abuse and trying to disinherit all but one of his children and his estranged wife. Was arrested for beating his wife Jan in 1997 but no charges were filed. Died in his sleep at 93 while family members squabbled over his affairs as well as owing medical bills and back taxes.
Famous for: American actor, whose career spanned 9 decades until shortly before his death. Appeared in more than 300 films and was one of the last surviving stars of the silent era with one of the longest careers in movie history. Could sing, dance, clown, play various musical instruments, and was a celebrated character actor later in his career. Made 43 films between 15 and 25 at the height of his career. Notable roles are Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Andy Hardy from the eponymous film series, Tommy from Ah, Wilderness, Whitey Marsh from Boys Town, Dan from Captains Courageous, Huckleberry Finn from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jimmy Connors from Strike Up the Band, Homer Macauley from The Human Comedy, Mickey Moran from Babes in Arms, Danny Churchill Jr. from Girl Crazy, Mi Taylor from National Velvet, Mike Forney from The Bridges of Tokyo-Ri, Dooley from The Bold and the Brave, Baby Face Nelson, Mr. Yunioshi from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Army from Requiem for a Heavyweight, Ding Bell from It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, George ‘Blue Chips’ Packard from Skidoo, Henry Dailey from The Black Stallion, Adult Tod from The Fox and the Hound, Gus from The Night at the Museum series, and Elderly Smalltown Resident from The Muppets.
Nominated for: Rooney was nominated 4 times, twice for Best Actor and twice for Best Supporting Actor consisting in 1939 for Babes in Arms, 1943 for The Human Comedy, 1956 for The Bold and the Brave, and 1980 for The Black Stallion.
Most Crushing Loss: Losing to Paul Lukas in 1943. Nobody watches Watch on the Rhine nowadays. Still, even if Rooney didn’t win for The Human Comedy, he should’ve at least lost to Humphrey Bogart, who should’ve won for Casablanca for God’s sake.
Reasons: Well, it’s easier to explain the first two times because Rooney wasn’t even 30. Yet, I do think his lifestyle and being infamously known as a train wreck by the 1970s. Not to mention by the end of WWII, he would never have the same success again since he was too old to play teenagers and too short to play leading men. Also had a fling with Norma Shearer at 18 (after her husband Irving Thallberg died).
Trivia: During WWII, he helped entertain the troops in America and Europe, spent part time as a radio personality on the American Forces Network, and was awarded the Bronze Star for entertaining the troops in combat zones as well as the Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal. Received 2 honorary Oscars. Loved golf and ponies. Was friends with Judy Garland. Has 4 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Was a pallbearer at Errol Flynn’s funeral.
100. Glenn Ford
Personal Life: (1916-2006) Born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford in Quebec City, Canada. Father was a railway conductor and later executive. Moved to Santa Monica, California at 8. Became US citizen in 1939 around the time he started acting in Hollywood. In 1942, volunteered for the US Marine Corps Reserve, rose to sergeant, and was discharged for an ulcer in 1944. Later joined the US Naval Reserve where he rose to the rank of Captain and would go to Vietnam in 1967 before retiring in the 1970s. Retired from acting in 1991. Married 4 times and had a son to first wife Eleanor Powell. Died at 90 after a series of strokes.
Famous for: Canadian-American actor from Hollywood’s Golden Era with a career that spanned over 50 years. Best known for playing ordinary men in unusual circumstances. Notable roles are Johnny Adams from Men Without Souls, Johnny Farrell from Gilda, John L. Montgomery from Gallant Journey, Mike Lambert from Framed, Col. Owen Devereaux from The Man from Colorado, Don Jose from The Loves of Carmen, Prof. Bentley ‘Bass’ Bassett Jr. from The Return of October, Joe Miracle from Mr. Soft Touch, Dr. Michael Corday from The Doctor and the Girl, Joe Hufford from Convicted, Ben Hogan from Follow the Sun, Jim Canfield from The Secret of Convict Lake, Det. Sgt. Dave Bannion from The Big Heat, Jeff Warren from Human Desire, Richard Dadier from Blackboard Jungle, Capt. Fisby from The Teahouse of the August Moon, Ben Wade from 3:10 to Yuma, Dave the Dude from Pocketful of Miracles, Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley from Is Paris Burning?, Marshal Dan Blaine from The Last Challenge, Rear Adm. Raymond A. Spruance from Midway, and Pa Kent from Superman.
Nominated for: Ford was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actor in 1957 for 3:10 to Yuma. Even if he’s flatter than the Russell Crowe portrayal, you still can’t help but like his Ben Wade.
Reasons: Despite being a versatile actor, Ford mainly acted in noir and westerns during the good part of his career.
Trivia: Great-nephew of Canada’s first prime minister John Macdonald. Worked for Will Rogers who taught him horsemanship. Regularly worked on plumbing, wiring, and air conditioning at home. Also worked as a roofer and installer of plate-glass windows. For his service in Vietnam received the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Rifle Marksman Badge, and the US Marine Corps Reserve Medal. Was one of the highest ranking stars in the military after Jimmy Stewart. Illegally raised 140 leghorn chickens at his Beverly Hills farm before being stopped by police.